27/11/2022

1828 London UK – National Repository Exchange

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1828, London

Name:National Repository Exchange
Dates:1828 – early 1830s
Days:c three years
Venue:Kings Mews at Charing Cross, today’s Trafalgar Square
Theme:To establish a permanent ‘National Repository
Exhibitors:
Awards:
Visitors:
Legacy:Did not capture press and public interest

The Paris expositions appears to have stirred the UK into action. A large series of events were held in the UK and the British also organised several events in Ireland and one in Calcutta. New venues began appearing in the late-1820s.

Etching of the Royal Mews

Attempts were made to establish a permanent ‘National Repository for the Exhibition of New and Improved production of the Artisans and Manufacturers of the United Kingdom’. It was held in the Kings Mews at Charing Cross, today’s Trafalgar Square. The Mews had been rebuilt in 1732 It was rebuilt again to William Kent’s design. [Note: The first set of stables to be referred to as a mews was at Charing Cross at the western end of The Strand. The royal hawks were kept at this site from 1377 and the name derives from the fact that they were confined there at moulting, or mew, time.]

John Norden’s map of Westminster dated1593, shows the Mewes

The Repository initiative obtained Royal patronage, but it appears to have been met by Press apathy and perhaps some hostility. The venture went unreported for twenty years and by then all enthusiasm for it had been lost.

Further initiatives with similar objectives were:

The Society for the Illustration and Encouragement of Practical Science opened its Adelaide Gallery in The Strand, London in 1830 to promote popular interest in science and engineering; both Thomas Telford and Charles Wheatstone worked here. The Society’s 1835 catalogue made clear that its demonstrations blended instruction with amusement.

The Royal Victoria Gallery for the Encouragement of Practical Science was an adult education institution and exhibition gallery in Victorian Manchester, a commercial enterprise intended to educate the general public about science and its industrial applications. During the 1830s, the Manchester Mechanics’ Institute was failing to attract students to its science lectures. On 21 March 1839, a meeting was held at the York Hotel to discuss the possibility of establishing an institution aimed solely at science education. The meeting was chaired by Hugh Hornby Birley, the leader of the troops at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, who revelealed that the project was to be based on the Adelaide Gallery of Practical Science in London

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